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Pearl String knotting tools

I’ve seen advertised Pearl /bead knotting tools.

I was wondering if someone could tell me the differences between one
knotting tool and another. Which should I buy?

Are they happy with them ?

I did pearl knotting many years ago with just a tweezers. I was not
fast at it and sometimes had a problem making sure the knot was
close to the pearl.

So I was interesting in this knotting tool at Rio Grande. They have

Beadalon knotter tool

Original Tri-Cord knotter

and Tri-Cord Tin Cup Knotter

Thanks for your help. Marna

Hi, Marna -

All three pearl string knotting tools do the same thing, Many folks
like the tri-cord knotter; I have no use for them at all, as the
tri-cord does not make the knot for you. You still have to produce a
knot in the silk & then move the knot to the bead. For me, a pair of
fine point tweezers is the most efficient. My sister-in-law uses an
beading awl…and does it beautifully.

The second consideration about the tri-cord type tool is that metal
can snap up against the bead. Not ideal is the beads are
delicate…or a repair which someone else owns.

Kind regards,
Mary Stachura

Marna, After retiring from my career, I have been restringing pearls
and beads for the last six years. I would not have been able to do
this without the Tri-Cord Knotter. It gives me consistent tight and
even knots.

Original Tri-Cord knotter - 

I use the Tri-Cord Knotter and have been very happy with it. You can
view a video of how to use the tool at Rio Grande or YouTube. Follow
the directions nd practice until the hand positions (especially the
left hand) become a habit. If you purchase one, make sure the tip of
the needle comes within 1mm of the forked part. If it is too far
away, it will be difficult to get a close knot. (I had this happen
with the first of the new black composite handle ones I received but
was able to exchange it right away).

and Tri-Cord Tin Cup Knotter - 

I use the tin-cup knotter to leave a consistent space of silk cord
after a pearl or bead when doing a tin-cup style necklace. I still
need the regular Tri-Cord Knotter for the knot after the bead.

Beadalon knotter tool - 

I’m not sure the brand of the other knotter I purchased but the
needle was a smaller gauge than the Tri-Cord Knotter’s. As that was
the only part I have ever had break, I returned it. I did not want to
risk it, especially as the original Tri-Cord Knotters with the
rosewood handles had a “lifetime” warranty. The new composite black
handled ones only have a 90 day warranty. Even so, if the needle
breaks, it is only $15 for Tri-Cord to repair it.

The only time I have not been happy with the Tri-Cord Knotter, has
been when I have been using a very heavy cord that does not slide
easily on the tool. Then I use an awl and needle nose pliers. Best of
luck with what ever you choose to do.

CVG Custom Pearl and Bead Stringing

I use a tri-cord knotter and love it. Once you know how to use it,
you can do almost any sort of knotting with it for pearls or beads…
I have arthritis and carpal tunnel, and don’t think I could string
pearls without this. They also repair their knotter (effectively
replacing it) if needed which is really wonderful!

A lot is what you get used to… and what you have a chance to learn.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

I have been stringing using the Tri Cord Knotter and lookalikes for
over 20 years. I have never had a problem with the device damaging
pearls or beads…it just doesn’t happen if the tool is used
correctly. What I like about it is that you can obtain a very tight,
consistently shaped knot. Also from time to time I have strength
issues in my hands. This tool allows me to work through this. I have
had customers bring me necklaces that I put together over 15 years
ago, worn constantly, and the integrity of the necklace is never the
reason for restringing. They want the necklace restrung because the
silk is dirty from wear. Yet I get 4 or 5 restringing jobs a month
where a necklace purchased elsewhere is less than a year old and is
already falling apart due to improper knotting and ending techniques.
I love these knotting tools.

Hello Marna,

Like Mary Stachura, I knot pearls the traditional way - using my
fingers and a dissecting needle or awl. I’ve tried the tri cord
knotter and must not be adept enough with the tool as I could not get
the knot placed snug against the pearl. It’s still a matter of
consistent tension, regardless of the tool used. Most likely, the
method you learn will be the one you prefer.

My advice is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. Judy
in Kansas, where winter descended upon us again!! More snow is
predicted… will it ever end??

Continues from

I have both the Beadalon version and the original Tri-Cord knotter
and I prefer the original Tri-Cord. The main difference is the
thickness of the awl part of the tool; on the Tri-Cord it is slightly
thicker and therefore slightly stiffer. This makes a difference when
you are pushing the knot down against the pearl. The Beadalon version
feels flimsy in the hand in comparison, and it is harder to snug the
knot all the way down. I’ve never tried the Tin Cup version.


Being rather old fasioned I use a pair of fine tweezers and get good
results when knotting next to a bead. I can see the usefulness of
these knotters if you want to produce an even gap between the
bead/pearl and the knot but wonder about their value if you are just
simply knotting in the way I do. Do they speed up the job by any

Nick Royall

I used to use the tweezers method, and it worked fine, but I tried
the Tri-Cord system and found that it’s much faster and far kinder
to the fingers. Just my opinion.

Regards, Gary